Maria is a mental health therapist–graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from California University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with the highest academic distinction of Summa Cum Laude. Maria has been honored with a placement in the Beta Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society dedicated to excellence in scholarship and high professional standards. Her Master’s of Social Work degree was completed at West Virginia University where her focus was in direct clinical practice and mental health treatment and intervention. Maria is currently a member of the American Association of Christian Counselor’s Board and The National Association of Social Work Board.
Maria’s counseling experience includes work at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC where she worked on the Dual Diagnosis Unit specializing in Addiction Medicine Services in conjunction with a Mental Health Diagnosis. She is trained in Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques that are used primarily to prepare people for change. MI is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence to treatment. Other work history includes intensive hospital-based active treatment at Mayview State Hospital in Bridgeville, PA which provided inpatient services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.
Areas of Specialty:
Maria has much experience dealing with Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, Dual Disorders (addictions along with another mental health disorder), Adjustment Disorders such as stage of life issues, stress, grief, failing health, low self-esteem, problems dealing with separation and divorce, job loss, marital dysfunction, and family problems. Maria also provides proactive counseling approaches to prepare for future life changes such as pre-marital counseling. All interventions include a “biblical and scripturally enhanced” approach along with a compatible professional mental health modality such as “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” She is a certified specialist in Prepare/Enrich couples’ assessment which over the last three decades, research studies have demonstrated can improve your relationship skills and happiness as a couple – used with premarital as well as married couples wishing to enhance and grow in their relationship.
Maria is currently available to see clients in the Upper St. Clair office.